Brothers and sisters, here is the summary for March 16, 2014 (for summary from the previous day, see Summary of March 15).
The bad news:
1. The Crimean referendum in the sites of Russian AK’s took place after all. We can say that it is illegitimate, that no one recognizes its results, and that the whole thing is just a variety show for one Mr. Vova [Vladimir Putin] sitting in the Kremlin.
Be that as it may. Nevertheless, the fact that said Mr. Vova pulled off this variety show, and the fact that Russia recognizes the results of this pseudo-referendum, makes taking Crimea back very difficult for Ukraine. That was not what this whole thing was started for.
2. Some guys who proudly call themselves “self-defense” keep sending units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on a runaround of eastern Ukraine. The military simply cannot reach their destinations, being constantly deterred by weird “block posts.”
This certainly raises the question – what kind of army [ours] is this, if it gets turned away by a bunch of guys who look like a failed baseball team that lost the ball somewhere, but kept the bats?
We can, of course, present loud accusations to the army and its command, but first, we must ask ourselves – what rights DO the military have right now?
Had the state of martial law been declared in Ukraine, the army would have had broader authority. But this is not the case.
Officially, Ukraine is in a state of peace, not emergency, which means that the military have no more authority than any commoner.
These are the questions we should be asking of the highest Ukrainian authorities. We do have quite a list of questions by now.
3. Today, leaders of the Crimean Tatars reported that the body of a Crimean Tatar was found in the Bilohirsk rayon [district] of Crimea, bearing signs of torture. The man was last seen going to the military enlistment office, and never came back. A pair of handcuffs was found next to his body. The man’s head was covered with adhesive tape.
This is a painfully familiar M.O. Crimean Tatars have not voiced any accusations yet, but the perceived context of this tragedy is obvious to everyone. I believe that this crime will still be investigated. That in the end, Ukrainian law enforcement authorities will set the record straight regarding the current lawlessness in Crimea, orchestrated by the Kremlin. This is what I want to believe. For now, we are mourning alongside our Crimean Tatar friends…
The good news:
1. Andriy Parubiy, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, announced that the Kremlin’s operation “Russian Spring” was successfully disrupted. The operation involved takeover of the governmental institutions in eastern Ukraine by separatists and “Putin’s tourists,” followed by their advancement into Kyiv.
This is the best news of the past few days. If this operation was, indeed, successfully sabotaged, considering the massive betrayals of our local police and special intelligence services, as well as complete impunity of the Kremlin’s “imported kazachoks [diminutive from Cossack]” – this is a serious victory. This is not the end of the war, of course, but hopefully, the turning of the tide.
2. Today, a big insider report was received. Some sources close to the Ukrainian government report that, allegedly, the issue of economic sanctions against Russia has been reviewed. The response [to aggression] would be symmetrical – since Crimean separatists have made a grab for Ukrainian companies in Crimea, Kyiv is prepared to nationalize Russian businesses in Ukraine.
Among them are such giants as the Zaporizhzhya Aluminum Plant (connected with the Russian “Avtovaz”), Vneshtorgbank’s companies in the assets of ISD [Industrial Union of Donbas], (Zaporizhzhya Metal Plant, Dniprodzerzhynsk Metallurgic Plant named after Dzerzhynsky, Pipe Plant named after Lenin, and others), [mobile operator] MTS (Systema JSFC), [mobile operator] Kyivstar (Alfa-Group), and Sberbank [of Russia] branches.
This is quite a bold statement, even though we have doubts as to how realistic it is. All of these things can and should be done, but whether the bosses in Kyiv have the guts to do so – that’s the question. Nevertheless, this ought to cause some panic in Moscow offices even now.
3. The government allocated another 7 billion hryvnya [ca. USD 720 million] to the defense industry. Against the backdrop of possible armed conflict with Russians (which is highly possible, with Putin’s instigation), this is a measly amount. Plus, it would take time to put this money into proper use. Plus, sure as anything, some of it would get embezzled. But
the very fact that the government finally started supporting the army with more than words alone – that’s positive news.
Of course, we can say that this is “too little, too late” – and this wouldn’t be a lie. But personally, I don’t believe that Putin will take over all of Ukraine. He’s not man enough for that. We, my brothers, love our Motherland far too much to give it up to some paranoid invader.
Nevertheless, we will never be in agreement with Russia while Putin is in power. Which is why we need a strong army. We already found out how unbearable it is to have a weak one.
4. Admiral Ihor Tenyukh, Head of the Ministry of Defense, announced that agreement has been reached with the Russian military command, according to which no blockades and provocations will be made against our military in Crimea until March 21, 2014.
On one hand, we can only be happy that the pressure on our servicemen in Crimea will ease up. On the other hand,
if such agreements truly exist, it means that the Russian command openly admits that all of these provocations and blockades are the work of Russia, and not some “unidentified armed men.”
The fact that those guys work for Putin – that’s something everyone has known for a long time. But until now, Putin’s men were reluctant to admit this. Perhaps the international community should pay attention to this detail.
But the main question remains – what happens after March 21? We have no answer to this question. Nor do we have faith in the promises of Putin’s soldiers about lack of aggression until March 21. How can you take an enemy’s words on faith?
May the new day bring us confidence that small breathers will be finally followed by real peace, which will fill our homes and hearts.